Campus Bobcats Caught

By Aaron Ortega

Opinion Editor

Two bobcats were caught Jan. 21 and 22, and the hunt subsided for these beasts of prey. Last November, a bobcat sighting drew the attention of the Brookhaven College community. An email with a photo of the elusive bobcat detailed a campus-wide advisory.

Gabriel Galvez, watch commander/E.O.P coordinator and Brookhaven Police captain, said using box traps and bait, the two feline predators, one juvenile male and one adult female, were caught and detained within wire cages. Both bobcats maintained a healthy and calm temperament.

Under advisement from T.J. Mongognia, wildlife specialist with Animal Services, Inc., the feline duo were to be transferred to a refuge, no longer posing a threat to joggers or casual strollers on the Brookhaven trails. Galvez said of the refuge, “They provide a safe haven for all wildlife on 940 acres in the surrounding areas of Collin County, Grayson County and Anna.”

Cliff Moore, professional naturalist with Animal Services, Inc., who picked up 11 bobcats two weeks ago in Frisco, Texas, believes the underlying problem of predators in urban areas lies in the expansion of the construction of roads, buildings and homes. “Any time you have a state-designated dangerous wild animal, which includes bobcats and coyotes, it’s just a matter of time before somebody gets hurt,” Moore said.

The natural environment surrounding Brookhaven may also be attracting bobcats. Miguel Gauna of Farmers Branch Animal Control, who participated in the capture, said, “That area is prime real estate for bobcats.”

Any harm to humans, however unlikely, could generate drawbacks for both species. “I’m very concerned that we don’t want anything bad to happen, because it will be war on bobcats. They are a magnificent species,” Moore said.

Galvez said he remains confident at this time that no more bobcats remain at Brookhaven. “I do think they have captured all of the bobcats,” Galvez said. He added, “We had reports a few days before that another bobcat was caught in the neighboring area across from the college off Siliac and Rosser.” However, this does not imply an increase in the bobcat population.

Privately owned ranches in more rural areas of Texas offer refuge for these bobcat transplants, and are accepted through land donations by Animal Services, Inc. Moore said the company offers warranties to the land owners to ensure the relocated animals are healthy and of good temperament. “We’re doing our part to give them a chance at a wild quality of life,” Moore said.

Galvez expressed appreciation to Farmers Branch Animal Control, Animal Services, Inc., and the Brookhaven community for reporting the sightings, along the assistant director of marketing and public information, Meridith Danforth and the Public Information Division for updating information concerning the sightings.

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